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Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
Jacob Liro still has disturbing memories of the childhood tragedy that set his life on a different trajectory. However, that is the least of his worries when their college professor convinces him and some of his colleagues to visit the idyllic town of Engelstatt on the Austrian border. Unfortunately, what starts as the perfect working holiday for these youths gradually becomes a desperate struggle for survival as they find nothing about this picture-perfect community is as innocent as it appears. Jacob knows their only chance of surviving this ordeal requires that he dig deep, both literally and figuratively, but is he willing to do this? Only time will tell in Samuel Church's Engelstatt.
Samuel Church brings your worst nightmares to life in a methodical fashion. The storyline is guaranteed to hold your attention with its gradually falling-apart fairytale theme. The characters in this entertaining tale are unique in their makeup as they range from unbelievably calm and collected to straight-up certifiable basket cases. My favorite is Ernst, with the calm and sophisticated manner in which he details his horrific plans for his victims, making it bone-chilling to read. Church brings this tale to life with a combination of well-worked conversations and curious folklore; I especially like the way he uses flashbacks to fill in the gaps in an intriguing manner that is guaranteed to keep you glued to the pages and wondering which obvious part of this puzzle you may have overlooked. If you are looking for spine-tingling suspense with a dash of adventure, Englestatt is for you. They don't make them like this anymore.